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Re: facial proportions or seeing skills?


From: Jancy & Mike Cossin (jmcossin_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Mar 07 2004 - 19:26:36 PST

I completely agree with you about learning to see.........and the link to your article is great. Currently, I am managing a particular class of 30 8th grade students who are dealing with some behavioral problems. Many are very skilled. I have them every other day so the routines and rituals are very important, but I'm finding that they can't even remember what day it is so they don't know where they are going half of the time. I will be attempting to guide them through activities that require concentration, leading them to a portrait exchange where they will be depicting the person based on a written description. They will also be doing observational drawings during the course. Unfortunately, the 8th grade curriculum only allows us to scrape the surface of different areas, but hopefully that will change with the coming standards in Ohio. Thank you for your suggestions and comments!
Jancy Cossin

Marvin Bartel <> wrote:
Give a hungry person a fish and the person eats for a day begs again tomorrow. Teach the person to fish and the person eats for life. Learning to formulate is better than following other peoples formulas. Education is better than training. Teach a formula for a face and you get one solution. Learn to measure and to formulate and you can create any and every face. When they learn to see contour and tone and ways to render it in addition to skills in measuring proportions they will need no formula to follow.

Learning to draw by learning to see goes beyond knowing what certain things look like. Learning the specific techniques of seeing better helps us find out what everything looks like. There are good methods to teach seeing and drawing without resorting to other people's formulas. Teach students how to observe/express and students can draw/express anything - not only those things for which they have memorized a formula.

This is a list of six eye/brain/hand skills to learn in order to learn to draw everything. Sighting devices and aides such as viewfinders, blinders, and sighting with pencil or ruler can help us learn the first three of these. Assignment limitations and changing habits of learning can teach the second three. Most of this list comes from a talk by Betty Edwards.

eye/brain/hand skills
1. edges and contours (including shapes)
2. size relationships and proportions (including perspective)
3. angles and inclines (including perspective)
4. tone changes (shading) (including form and perspective)
5. negative space (inclusive vision)
6. pattern, texture, color (the rest of it)

See elaboration and illustrations here.

Art is much more than drawing, but most people wish they could draw better.


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